Tractor-trailer drivers winding their way through Ashe County would be wise to proceed with extreme caution and care.
AAA Carolinas recently released its annual rankings of the most dangerous counties for traffic in North Carolina, and Ashe clocks in at number three in the state in terms of the best chance for tractor-trailer drivers to be involved in a fatal crash.
Nearby Alleghany and Alexander counties were ranked respectively at numbers two and three in terms of the best chance of being involved in a fatal automobile accident.
No other counties in the High Country appeared on the most recent rankings, which were released last week and were determined by the N.C. Department of Transportation’s 2013 Crash Facts.
Best Chance of Being in a Collision
Of the 100 counties in the state, Pitt County ranks number one as the county where traffic collisions are mostly likely. New Hanover County is ranked second, followed by Vance, Person and Stanly counties.
Best Chance of Being in a Injurious Crash
In terms of crashes resulting in injuries, Graham County is ranked number one. Pitt County is ranked number two, followed by New Hanover, Gaston and Hoke counties.
Best Chance of Being in a Fatal Crash
Graham, Alleghany, Alexander, Bladen and Vance counties all sit a top AAA’s list of most dangerous North Carolina counties for traffic fatalities last year. The five counties combined for 40 traffic deaths, despite having only 2 percent of the state’s total vehicle miles traveled, which is an element in the calculating, according to AAA Carolinas.
Behind Texas and California, North Carolina ranked third in the nation for the most non-interstate rural road traffic deaths, behind Texas and California, with 844 fatalities, according to 2012 federal data.
Best Chance of Being in a Fatal Crash (Tractor-Trailers)
Gates County tops the list of counties with the greatest chance of being involved in a fatal tractor-trailer accident, followed by Hertford, Ashe, Cherokee and Northampton counties.
Pasquotank, Washington, Warren, Tyrrell, Hyde and Chowan counties all had zero fatalities in 2013.
An average of three people die every day in traffic crashes in North Carolina, according to the AAA Carolinas report. There were 1,162 traffic deaths in the state last year, a number that has been declining since 2010.
The total number of crashes in the state in 2013 was 220,524, up from 213,856 in 2012.
Alan Bulluck can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @albulluck.